Chris and I recently celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary! We wanted to do something simple to celebrate, because he was in the middle of transitioning into a new job, we were closing on a condo, and life had been a little crazy! A bit last minute, we headed out for a quick, one night trip to Charlottesville. After lingering by the fire for awhile at Barboursville Winery, we then had an incredible dinner at Mas.
In planning the trip, Chris had given me a list of dinner options to choose between and my eye immediately fell on Mas, a funky tapas restaurant. When my coworker, who has similar dining tastes as I do, vouched for the place as well, I know it was going to be the one. She warned us that there are no reservations and that she waited for an hour and a half with a group recently, so we made sure to show up early. In my opinion, if you’re willing to wait that long for a meal, it must be quite a place!
We arrived at 5:30pm on a Friday night, and managed to get the last table available. The place was already bustling and a crowd continued to build by the door as the night went on. We had the treat of sitting on a cushioned bench next to each other and began to take a look at the enormous menu before us.
I started with a glass of red sangria and Chris chose a mojito, both solid decisions. We proceeded to order more dishes than we needed, starting with the gambas al’ parilla (jumbo shrimp grilled Catalan style-in the shell-w/ garlic alioli and grey salt). Very filling, and the garlic alioli was quite luscious.
Next, the bacon-wraped dates came out (Spanish name: datil con tocino). For me, it is hard to see dates on a menu and not order them! My coworker had also suggested this particular tapa, and it did not disappoint.
I also couldn’t help but order the bocadillo jamon (jamon serrano, Manchego cheese and alioli on wood-oven bread). In Spain, these bocadillos were everywhere. I was so sick of ham and cheese on crusty bread by the end of that trip, but the sandwich brings back fond memories now! Especially with sangria.
Next, queso cocido con alcachofa (warm artichoke and goat cheese spread w/ brick-oven bread). Warm and served in a little cast iron baking dish, this dip disappeared quickly.
Finally, because I love Chris, we ended on the carne asada (marinated hanging tenderloin -grilled rare only- w/ smoked tomato alioli).
We each ordered another drink in the middle of all this eating. I had a pear margarita and Chris drank a Dos Equis. I was a little nervous about how four drinks with all of the tapas with would add up, but it was under $75 with tip! It is definitely nice to get away from DC prices every now and then. All in all, this was a wonderful restaurant experience. We settled in with our delicious tapas spread and thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary dinner together.